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Case Summary: Conroy's Smallgoods v Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (19 April 2023) [2023

Case Summary: Conroy's Smallgoods v Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (19 April 2023) [2023] FCAFC 59


In the case of Conroy's Smallgoods v Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia delivered its judgment on 19th April 2023. The case involved a dispute between Conroy's Smallgoods, a meat processing company, and the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU), representing employees at the company.

Conroy's Smallgoods v Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (19 April 2023) [2023] FCAFC 59
Conroy's Smallgoods v Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (19 April 2023) [2023] FCAFC 59

The primary issue in this case was whether Conroy's Smallgoods had breached its enterprise agreement by implementing changes to shift rosters without proper consultation with AMIEU. The enterprise agreement contained provisions requiring consultation with the union regarding any significant changes affecting employees' working conditions.


The court found that Conroy's Smallgoods had indeed breached its obligations under the enterprise agreement. It was established that there were substantial changes made to shift rosters without adequate consultation with AMIEU. The court emphasized that proper consultation is crucial for maintaining good industrial relations and ensuring fair treatment of employees.


Consequently, the court ordered Conroy's Smallgoods to cease implementing any further changes to shift rosters until appropriate consultations were conducted with AMIEU. Additionally, it directed both parties to engage in genuine negotiations and consultations in order to resolve any outstanding issues related to rostering arrangements.


This case highlights the importance of adhering to contractual obligations and engaging in meaningful consultations between employers and unions when making significant changes that impact employees' working conditions. It serves as a reminder for companies like Conroy's Smallgoods about their responsibilities towards their workforce and maintaining harmonious industrial relations within their organization.

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